Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

A Summer of Second Chances Carol Thomas 4*#Review @carol_thomas2 @ChocLituk @rararesources #SecondChance #Summer #Romance #Friendship #Humour #RomCom #BlogTour #BookReview #BankHolidayWeekend #MondayBlogs #MondayMotivation #ASummerofSecondChances

Does first love deserve a second chance?

Ava Flynn sometimes feels like the clothes donated to her charity shop have seen more life than her, but ‘maximum dedication for a minimal wage’ is what it takes to keep her mother’s beloved wildlife charity, All Critters Great and Small, running – especially in the village of Dapplebury, where business is certainly not booming.


But when Ava’s first love, Henry Bramlington, returns to the village, suddenly life becomes a little too eventful. Henry escaped Dapplebury many years before, but now he has the power to make or break the village he left behind – All Critters Great and Small included. Can Ava trust the boy who ran away to give both her and her charity a second chance?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Choc Lit in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a charming and heartwarming story about second chances and village life.

Ava runs the charity shop in the village of Dapplebury, forsaking her true vocation. The village needs rejuvenation, but at what cost to its heritage and the surrounding wildlife? Henry returns to the village after years away and history with Ava. He has the power to change the village but will this be a good thing?

The romance is gentle and fraught with conflict. The village characters are relatable, and there is a believable village vibe. The plot has humour, mystery and surprises. The animal characters are the stars.

A lovely summery story full of community spirit, friendship and love.

Carol Thomas

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. She has been a primary school teacher for over twenty years and has a passion for reading, writing and people watching. When she is not in school, chasing after her children, or stopping her dog from eating things he shouldn’t, she can be found loitering in cafes drinking too much tea and working on her next book.

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Serial

The Promise of Summer Part 1- With This Ring… Bella Osborne 5* #Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #preorder #ThePromiseofSummer

With a terrible track record when it comes to men, Ruby has all but given up on love. She finally decides to take fate into her own hands and boards a train to London to attend the appointment of a lifetime.

When a stranger starts chatting to her, Ruby’s faith in romance is restored as he nervously reveals a sparkling diamond and an extravagant proposal plan. When he leaves the ring behind, Ruby is determined to track him down – but fellow passenger Curtis has other ideas about how best to save the day.

Can this unlikely pair reunite the ring with its rightful owner before it’s too late?

Pre-order Amazon UK

Publication Date – 26th May 2021

I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The first part of a new series is something to celebrate, and this one is full of humour, mystery and romance. Ruby works at a friendly florist shop and is friends with Kim, the owner. She travels to London for an important appointment. She meets two men on the train who influence her future life.

Trying to return the ring draws Curtis and Ruby together with amusing results he is a mysterious man but appears kind. The original plot is peppered with witty humour, gentle romance and mysteries to solve. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Humour, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Borrow a BookShop Holiday Kiley Dunbar 5*#Review @KileyDunbar @HeraBooks @rararesources #Romance #holiday #humour #BlogTour #BookReview #RomCom #Friendship #TheBorrowaBookshopHoliday

The Fully Booked Bookshop Café invites literature lovers to run their very own bookshop … for a fortnight.

Spend your days talking books with customers in your own charming bookshop and serving up delicious cream teas in the cosy café.

Bookworms, what are you waiting for? Your holiday is going to be LIT(erary).

Apply to: The Fully Booked Bookshop, Down-a-long, Clove Lore, Devon.

Jude Crawley should be on top of the world. She’s just graduated as a mature student, so can finally go public about her relationship with Philosophy professor, Mack.

Until she sees Mack kissing another girl, and her dreams crumble. And worse, their dream holiday – running a tiny bookshop in the harbour village of Clove Lore for two weeks – is non-refundable.

Throwing caution to the winds, Jude heads down to Devon, eager to immerse herself in literature and heal her broken heart.

But there’s one problem – six foot tall, brooding (but gorgeous) Elliot, who’s also reserved the bookshop holiday for two weeks…

As Jude and Elliot put their differences aside to run the bookshop, it seems that Jude might be falling in love with more than just words. Until she discovers what Elliot is running from – and why he’s hiding out in Clove Lore.

Can Jude find her own happy ending in a tiny, tumbledown bookshop? Or is she about to find out that her bookish holiday might have an unexpected twist in the tale…

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story has beautifully crafted complex characters, believable relationship dynamics and a lovely coastal setting. The idea of taking your holiday in a bookshop is an appealing prospect. This is a detailed story with the painstaking character development of Jude, the main protagonist so that the reader appreciates how important an experience running the bookshop in the tiny coastal community is for her.

Jude’s life before the bookshop experience is as a carer for her Gran supporting her parents’ business and studying for a part-time degree. Her secret relationship with a professor at her University implodes on graduation day, forcing Jude to gain insight into her current life. She is a giving and loyal woman for whom family is everything. Caring for her Gran has put her life on hold to the point where she is anxious to move out of her comfort zone to see what the world offers for her.

Jude’s anxiety is written believably with sensitivity. The quirky community, meeting Elliot and running the bookshop make her realise that life is for living. The story is often humorous with a cast of vividly written characters and a charismatic dog. The friendship and eventual romance with Elliot are conflicted and resolved in a climatic and poignant way as his secrets are revealed.

Kiley Dunbar

Kiley Dunbar writes of heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places.

Kiley also works as a senior lecturer, teaching creative writing at the Manchester Writing School. One Winter’s Night was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Extract, Humour, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Italy Ever After Leonie Mack 4*#Review @LeonieMAuthor @BoldwoodBooks #Extract #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour @rararesources #RomCom #Romance #Summer #Family #SecondChance #Italy #holidayromance #MondayBlogs #ItalyEverAfter

Escape to the sun and head off to Italy, with the wonderfully warm and ever-so-page-turning Leonie Mack!

TV journalist Lou feels battered and bruised after her divorce from Phil, the father of her daughter Edie. Her confidence and sense of fun have steadily been drained away, and she isn’t sure who she is any more.

When the opportunity arises to accompany Edie on a music camp in Italy for a month in the summer, Lou jumps at the chance for new adventures, new horizons and new friends. The hazy warmth of the summer sun, shining brightly over the stunning Lake Garda, slowly brings Lou back to life. 

Nick Romano, Edie’s music teacher, loves being home in Italy, but coaching his students for their concert in Milan, is bringing back difficult memories. His blossoming friendship with Lou is the perfect distraction, although a summer fling would be easier to conduct without the scrutiny of his mother Greta, not to mention the interference of his extended Italian family.

As the summer passes, full of sunshine and breath-taking scenery, gelato and delicious feasts, Lou and Nick get ever closer. But as the time for farewell creeps up on them, will they be able to say goodbye and leave their memories behind in the Italian sun, or can a summer romance last a lifetime?

Leonie Mack is back with a sizzling, sun-baked love story.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I love romance set in Italy, and as this one is set around Lake Garda, somewhere I’ve visited, I couldn’t resist it.

Just about to be divorced Lou, is still reeling from the fallout, we meet her ex in the opening chapters, and he is not likeable. Her confidence is low despite her career in front of the TV cameras, and it’s clear she is a kind and loving woman who doesn’t value herself. Her latest meeting with Mr (Nick) Romano right after her latest confrontation with the ex is unsettling for them both and makes her wonder whether helping out on the school music camp in Italy is sensible.

The chemistry sizzling between Lou and Nick gets hotter in beautiful Lake Garda, and there are lots of nearly moments that are romantic. The conflicts to their possible relationship are both internal and external, but they are good for each other, and you want them to find happiness together.

The musical setting adds authenticity to the story and is integral to Nick’s backstory. The balance of humour, poignancy and romance is good, and the ending is romantic and uplifting.

Leonie Mack

Leonie Mack is a debut novelist whose first book My Christmas Number One was published by Boldwood in September 2020. Having lived in London for many years her home is now in Germany with her husband and three children. Leonie loves train travel, medieval towns, hiking and happy endings!

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Extract from Italy Ever After – Leonie Mack

Damn him. Phil was winning this game. His look was tolerant. His eyes were warm, even vaguely fond. Lou was losing. Her jaw was clenched so hard she felt like a petulant child with braces. She smoothed her hand down her tailored skirt. Confronting him in her work clothes was supposed to remind her she could deal with him like an adult. But really, she wanted to run home and change into her sweats, as she usually did after her shift. 

‘She’s eleven, Lou. This is her last summer before secondary school. Can’t you let up a little?’ 

He was the voice of reason, too? Phil never raised his voice because he never needed to. He was the kind of man who spoke and it was done. He was attractive, too – even now at forty-four – which meant he’d never had to stay single for long. She couldn’t blame the woman who’d become his girlfriend only a few months after their separation – except that she could blame her and she would. It was the right of a nearly officially ex-wife, right? 

‘All Edie wants to do is play music. Elite tuition and orchestra rehearsals is her idea of paradise. I’m not forcing her to do anything.’ 

His lips twitched. ‘And a few weeks in the Italian sunshine is your idea of a nice free holiday?’ 

Strike one. She would have been satisfied to hear him behaving like the juvenile ex-husband, except that he was an expert at pressing her overdeveloped sense of her own inadequacy button. 

‘It’s not a holiday for me. I’m going as a chaperone and I have to pay my own way. The only reason I’ve volunteered is because Edie is one of the youngest kids going. Most of the parents are looking forward to the three weeks of childcare before the competition’ 

‘You can always send her to us. You know that. You don’t have to martyr yourself.’ 

Lou choked on his sympathy, wishing he would do the same. She took a deep breath. She should have accepted by now that Phil’s wiring where she was concerned would never change. 

‘Can we get back to the point? Edie wants to go and it’s a unique opportunity. This youth music festival only happens every four years. She’ll get to play in an orchestra under a professional conductor and participate in a competition.’ 

Phil held up a hand. ‘I did read the information you emailed me. But I fail to see why our eleven-year-old has to participate in a very expensive competition. You’ve already forced my hand with the school choice. I’d say you’re pretty low on credit with me at the moment.’ 

Lou recoiled. She needed ‘credit’ to get Phil to consider her opinion about their daughter? How was an ex-wife supposed to earn credit? Not only was she forced to serenely ignore the practical difficulties of having day-to-day responsibility for their daughter alone, but Phil still required her to manage him to make sure they did their best by Edie. Good God, it was miserable. 

Phil looked at her with his unflappably perfect haircut and warm eyes with their distinguished crinkles that on her would be called crow’s feet. It was clear why she’d thrown herself at him twelve years ago when she’d been a young and stupid graduate with too little understanding of the world’s faults – and far too little contraception. What was less clear was how she was supposed to deal with him now. 

‘You know how much she loves playing the violin.’ 

‘I know, she does little else.’ 

Edie practised especially diligently at Phil’s because it meant less time with the obsequious girlfriend. 

‘I’m still not sure I want to encourage her obsession.’ 

‘Then you’ll be happy to know the camp takes that into account. Although they rehearse every day, there’s also time dedicated to outdoor activities and confidence-building. I think we can both agree that it would be good for Edie to have some confidence outside her musical talent.’ 

The faintest glint in his eye was the only clue that he was feeling the pressure. But Phil never backed off. Instead, he calmly went on the offensive. ‘So, you plan to make Edie do a high ropes course while you sit in the sun at Sirmione sipping an Aperol Spritz?’ 

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Cover Reveal, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Promise of Summer Bella Osborne #CoverReveal @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella @rararesources #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #preorder #ThePromiseofSummer

Ruby’s life is about to change for ever…

After years of dating losers, cheats and one guy who did something unrepeatable to her kettle, Ruby has all but given up on romance. But then a stranger sits next to her on a train to London and explains his plan to propose to the woman of his dreams. Maybe true love does exist after all?

When the man accidentally leaves the engagement ring behind, Ruby is determined to save the day. But she hasn’t counted on fellow passenger Curtis stepping in and insisting he should be the one to track the stranger down.   
 
As summer closes in, the unlikely pair make a promise to reunite the ring with its owner. But can they find their own happy ever after along the way?

Pre-order LinksAmazon UK Amazon Kobo

Publication Date – 22nd July 2021

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Humour, Murder Mystery

Banana Devil Cake Susan A. King 4*#Review @SusanKing63 @EyeAndLightning @rararesources #CosyMystery #Villagelife #humour #WI #BlogTour #BookReview #BananaDevilCake

With the murder of last year’s fête judge now but a hazy memory, the village of Elmesbury has retired to its former tranquil existence. That is, until a mysterious newcomer sets in motion a series of events that will see members of the W.I. crossing wooden spoons at dawn.

In the midst of preparing for her long-awaited engagement party, redoubtable village busybody Beattie Bramshaw not only finds herself embroiled in a one-woman campaign to save the elm tree from which the village gets its name, but having to contend with an outbreak of unrest within her beloved W.I. group. Rivalry to win favour with the judge of this year’s fête has fuelled dissent within the ranks and, when two members are found dead in mysterious circumstances, suspicions run rife.

Confident the devil is not only in the cake but in the detail, Beattie determines to uncover the clues that will ultimately lead to the killer’s conviction. But can she solve the mystery before another member of the W.I. is picked off?

Banana Devil Cake is a comedy crime caper in the spirit of Agatha Raisin and one that is guaranteed to lift your spirits. Prepare yourself for a tale of tea, cake and riotous goings-on from the author of Marrow Jam.

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

An entertaining, quintessentially English cosy mystery featuring amateur sleuth Beattie and the ladies of the Elmesbury Women’s Institute(WI). It reads well as a standalone, but to get to know the characters and village, read ‘Marrow Jam’ first.

What makes this enjoyable are the distinctive characters and the carefully plotted mystery, which engages and enthrals the reader. Humorous and witty, this is a charming read for lovers of English cosy mystery. The writing is full of sensory imagery, making it easy to visualise. It would make a great series for television.

Susan A. King

Susan A. King lives with her husband in a quiet suburb in Hampshire. Between them they have four grown-up sons.

The inspiration for her Beattie Bramshaw novels comes from her long experience and observation of competitors at the local Romsey Show, where she regularly aspires to win Best in Show with her floral arrangements.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, Romance

Finding Home Kate Field 4* #Review @katehaswords @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #FamilyDrama #Romance #humour #BlogTour #Secrets #BookReview #Heartwarming #FindingHome

She might not have much in this world, but it cost nothing to be kind… 

Meet Miranda Brown: you can call her Mim. She’s jobless, homeless and living in her car… but with a history like hers she knows she has a huge amount to be grateful for.

Meet Beatrice and William Howard: Bill and Bea to you. The heads of the Howard family and owners of Venhallow Hall, a sprawling seaside Devonshire estate… stranded in a layby five hours from home the night before their niece’s wedding.

When fate brings the trio together, Mim doesn’t think twice before offering to drive the affable older couple home. It’s not like she has anywhere else to be. But as the car pulls into the picturesque village of Littlemead, Mim has no idea how her life is about to change…

An uplifting story of found family and true love.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Mim is currently homeless, but she still offers to help a couple whose car breaks down. This selfless act is a turning point for Mim. She is a relatable character with a kind heart but an understandable wary outlook. The Howard family positively changes her life, and she learns that their family isn’t perfect and that relationships need work to flourish.

This is a character-driven story with believable family dynamics and authentic characters. Mim’s relationship with Corin intensifies as they get to know each other, and these two characters experience the most notable character development.

A heartwarming and poignant story.

Kate Field

Kate writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire,where she lives with her husband, daughter and mischievous cat. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Kate’s debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Humour, Romance

Eudora Honeysett is Quite Well, Thank You Annie Lyons 5*#Review Narrator Nicolette McKenzie @1AnnieLyons @0neMoreChapter_ #Audiobook #Review #Friendship #Family #multigenerational #HistFic #Romance #Uplit

Eudora Honeysett is done – with all of it. Having seen first-hand what a prolonged illness can create, the eighty-five-year-old has no intention of leaving things to chance. With one call to a clinic in Switzerland she takes her life into her own hands.

But then ten-year-old Rose arrives in a riot of colour on her doorstep. Now, as precocious Rose takes Eudora on adventures she’d never imagined she reflects on the trying times of her past and soon finds herself wondering – is she ready for death when she’s only just experienced what it’s like to truly live?

A heartfelt story of life, death, friendship and family.

Audible UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from One More Chapter (Harper Collins Audio UK) via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started to listen to this story. Eudora Honeysett is an older woman who is ready to die. The artwork on the cover is so bright and cheerful, so I continued to listen. The story unfolds into a delightfully, gentle, poignant story about finding friendship and family in later life.

Eudora is eccentric, opinionated and sad until she meets a young girl Rose and Stanley, a good-hearted widower and their friends and family. They see something worth saving in Eudora. Eudora’s current life experiences are increasingly positive, but flashback chapters show a life full of betrayal, loss and sacrifice.

Excellent narration makes the characters vibrant, especially Eudora. Her introspection and dialogue are witty, making her memorable.

This is a lovely story with relatable characters and events.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books

Acts of Kindness Heather Barnett 4*#Review @WritesHeather @SerpentineBooks @rararesources #cozymystery #humour #village #mystery #BlogTour #BookReview #ActsofKindness

Dream Job. Fresh Start. Big Mistake.

When Bella Black arrives in a sleepy Wiltshire village, it seems like the perfect place for a new start: a lovely home, exciting job and an attractive colleague or two to take her mind off her recent divorce.

When people start disappearing, she realises she holds the key to a mystery bigger than she could have ever imagined.

Who is really pulling the strings at the secretive OAK Institute?

Can anyone be trusted?

Will Bella make the right choices before its too late?

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I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Acts of Kindness has vibrant characters and an engaging cosy style of mystery. The chance of a dream job is just what Bella needs, but things are more complex than she thought. Bella undertakes some amateur sleuthing with amusing and sometimes dangerous outcomes.

Eccentric characters and mysterious goings-on make this an amusing escapist read.

Heather Barnett

Heather Barnett gained a degree in English and French from the University of Leeds and has written ever since: from copywriting to stand-up comedy and sketches. She is now focusing on writing novels. Heather’s influences span Jane Austen and Douglas Adams at one end of the alphabet through to PG Wodehouse at the other.

Heather’s debut novel, Acts of Kindness, is an uplifting, light-hearted mystery. It was inspired by witnessing commuters helping a woman who’d fallen down the stairs at Paddington station; intermingled with wondering what was behind some grand stone gateposts that she used to drive past in Wiltshire.

Her second novel, Lord Seeks Wife, is a romantic comedy and will be published summer 2021.

Aside from writing, Heather’s interests are classic literature, cats and comedy.

Heather is head of marketing at an agency near Oxford and lives by the river Kennet in Berkshire.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Humour, Romantic Comedy

Asking for a Friend Andi Osho 3* #Review @AndiOsho @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #romcom #dating #women #friends #humour #AskingforaFriend

Three best friends are going to solve their relationship woes once and for all

Forty-something Jemima’s life is on track – well, sort of. All she has to do is muster the courage to bat her niggly ex away for good.

Twenty-something Meagan is in the midst of her five-phase plan and is nearly ready for phase three – a relationship.

While thirty-something Simi has had more it’s not yous than any I dos.

Deciding it’s time to play the dating game by their own rules, they’re going to ditch the dating apps and ask people out in real life. The catch? They’re playing matchmaker and can only ask out potential dates for each other because the most important rule is that no woman gets left behind.

Comedian Andi Osho’s hilarious and uplifting debut novel features her trademark wit 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I loved the ideas behind this story since I’m old enough to remember dating before dating apps. Unfortunately, I struggled to connect with the characters. So, this story didn’t fulfil its potential. There is plenty that I liked, especially the dynamic between the characters. Their friendship bond is believable and well written. There is also an insightful look at contemporary life which captures its humour, and sadness well.